I love history and especially ancient history. So I read a lot of ancient documents and transcripts of them. I love it. Do I think there is evidence that Christmas and Easter are pagan or have pagan roots or traditions? Yes, I do. But can someone else come and find documents to argue against my discoveries? Maybe, probably? Why? Because recorded history is full of flaws and personal agenda. There is only one historical document that is accurate. That is the Holy Scriptures in their original context. So no one can say without a doubt that they know for sure what is true about Christmas and Easter.
But, does it matter if they are pagan in root or tradition?
Let’s think about it for a minute. Really think, and use our Bible to answer this question.
Is it ok to celebrate Christmas and Easter?
Christmas is a day set aside by the Catholic church to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is unknown when Jesus Christ of Nazareth was actually born, but this day has been set aside to remember and honor his birth. Easter, likewise, is a day set aside by the Catholic church to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Neither the word Christmas or Easter are in the Scriptures. So, there is no clear instructions for if or when these two events of Christ life on earth should be celebrated.
But like many other things in life we can find the answer to this question if we think and look at all of Scripture. Let’s start with some scriptures from the beloved missionary, Paul.
Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.
This passage Paul tells us that we may not all have the same understanding of what the scripture commands us to eat and drink, and we may not all understand the days to observe unto the Lord. But no matter which we believe is correct that we should observe it UNTO THE LORD. So, often I have had people tell me well I don’t think that Christmas is a Holy Day, a set apart day, I just enjoy having a day to celebrate His birth. To me this is a mixed statement. Either the day is set aside unto the Lord or it isn’t. We can not have both.
Some other passages Paul talks about setting days aside are Galatians 4:10 and Colossians 2:16. In both these passages it has been argued that Paul is encouraging the keeping of the commanded feasts of Leviticus 23, and it has also been argued that he is saying we do not need to keep them anymore. But either argument can concluded that Paul is clearly saying that no matter which you do, you are not to judge what another does.
So is Paul saying days like Christmas and Easter are good? Let’s keep looking? If Paul tells us to be sure that if we set a day aside to give honor to God that it should be celebrated unto the LORD God, then how do we set a day aside unto God?
This is the question, the real question? Is it ok to celebrate a day unto the LORD GOD, like the world celebrates special days?
All over the world people celebrate Christmas? Even people who are not Christians. It is a world wide holiday. People have traditions of decorating a tree and their house, and decking the halls, and giving gifts, and feasting and time with friends and family all in the name of Christmas. Easter also has many traditions, eggs, chocolate, bunnies, etc. Everyone does these things, everyone all around the world. Many people do not even know that these are religious holidays.
So, that means that the actual holiday is a worldly (secular) holiday to most people in the world. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be something more to me, right? I have heard many, many times that we need to redeem the day unto the Lord. There is some really bad theology in that idea. We, you and I, we are not able to redeem anything. There is a redeemer and His name is Jesus Christ. But we can not ever redeem anything. Secondly, the day, December 25th, is not evil or sinful, it is just a day. It does not need redeeming.
Maybe your thinking, but that is not what Christmas and Easter mean to me? They are all about Jesus, all about the birth, all about the resurrection. IF that is true than I agree with Paul, who am I to judge you. But, my question is this, are you sure? Or are these holidays full of man made traditions that mean more to you than obeying God?
Because you see God gives us clear instructions on how to worship Him, and how to celebrate special days unto Him. These instructions are in Leviticus 23 and through out the scriptures. One of the ten commandments in Exodus 20, is all about setting aside a Holy Day once a week called Sabbath. And Jesus even told us to obey the commands of His Father. (John 14-15) He also told us not to put traditions above obedience. (Mark 7 and Matthew 15)
There are lots and lots of verses in the Bible that tell us not to worship God in the ways that the world worship their gods (idols). (Deuteronomy 12, Jeremiah 10) Often when we think of idols or false gods, we think Baal, Zeus, etc. But the gods of our world are self, money, family, friends, success, etc.
Maybe you really want to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Maybe you want to celebrate His resurrection. That is wonderful. But consider are you doing it in a way that honors God and is in obedience to His commands. God is a jealous God.
In conclusion, God calls His children to be set apart from this world. He tells them to be in the world but not of the world. He wants the world to see that His children are blessed and special. How do we look different from the world? Well, it is easy, we obey the commandments of God.
If you want to know and obey God’s commandments start reading your Bible in the beginning and learn all His commands. Memorize the ten commandments of God from Exodus 20. Read the books of James and 1 John. Read all the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. When you realize that Jesus told us to obey all His commands in scripture, and that He gave them to us for our blessing and benefit, it will change your life.
So, pagan roots or traditions really don’t matter, what matters is obedience to the Word of God.
May YHVH God bless you as you seek to do His will and obey His commands.